A History of Magic Mushrooms in British Columbia
Without a discussion of magic mushrooms, no study of the mushrooms of British Columbia can be deemed complete. In Mexico and Central America, magic mushrooms have been used in spiritual rituals for thousands of years. In the early 1960s, these mushrooms inspired a social and cultural “psychedelic revolution” that was quickly dominated by LSD. The world first learned about the visionary properties of these mushrooms in 1957. British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest were found to have an abundance and widespread occurrence of magic mushrooms, which contributed to the province’s becoming a focal point for social change.
Psilocybin mushrooms produced outside of Mexico were used for the first time ever for recreational purposes in Vancouver. Psilocybe semilanceata, often known as Liberty Cap, mushrooms were taken from UBC students in 1965 by the RCMP. Evidently, it had been shown that this common and distinctive small meadow and pasture mushroom was connected to the species observed by magic mushroom travellers in Mexico.
Despite their continued popularity and abundance, magic mushrooms don’t seem to be responsible for the social or legal issues they once did. Psilocybe cubensis, an easily grown tropical to subtropical species, has essentially supplanted the wild psilocybin mushrooms used for recreational use, and harvesting, possessing, and using the Liberty Cap now tends to be mostly private and localized.
Haida Gwaii’s communities have probably been the most impacted by magic mushrooms in all of Canada. People rushed to the Queen Charlotte Islands (now Haida Gwaii), which became well-known as a magic mushroom hotspot, to collect and dry mushrooms for sale. Haida Gwaii’s Liberty Cap mushrooms have a reputation for being very strong and “pure.” The widespread and casual usage of “shrooms,” as well as their perceived benign pharmacological status, has caused certain unintended ingestions to have very unpleasant effects and serious reactions in some inexperienced users.
Many people think that the Haida and other coastal first nations used hallucinogenic mushrooms for spiritual or therapeutic purposes, although there isn’t any proof of this in the formal ethnological literature, not even for eating. In fact, the majority of the locals seemed to steer clear of all mushrooms in general.
According to R. Gordon Wasson, who founded and termed ethnomycology—the study of how mushrooms are utilized in human cultures—some people are mycophobic or afraid of mushrooms since they were once used as significant ritual intoxicants. Wasson suggested that mushrooms were taboo in some societies that once used them as a form of visionary medicine. The use of visionary mushrooms became the sole privilege of shamans in their duties as healers and diviners as cultures got more sophisticated and the job of a shaman evolved into a unique career within communities. Thus, a ban on the use of visionary mushrooms by people who aren’t shamans gradually spread to include a taboo or cultural dislike to mushrooms in general.
There are two main contenders for the visionary mushrooms that have been traditionally utilized in Haida Gwaii or other parts of British Columbia as ritual or spiritual intoxicants. Both are commonly referred to as “Magic Mushrooms,” yet their pharmacological and psychological effects are very different.
Let’s explore these.
The Liberty Cap (Psilocybe semilanceata)
Although it doesn’t grow directly from excrement, the Liberty Cap is a grassland species that is primarily linked to grazing animals. This fungus, which is a typical species in temperate Europe, may have been brought to British Columbia together with animals and types of fodder grass. Therefore, it’s possible that this species didn’t exist in British Columbia prior to the arrival of European settlers and the development of their agriculture.
Fly Agaric (Amanita Muscaria)
In many regions of the northern hemisphere, this characteristic toadstool with its white-spotted, brilliant red cap has a long history of being used as a hallucinogenic. Fly agaric has been utilized in traditional medicine by Ahnishinaubeg of Lake Michigan and the Dogrib of Great Slave Lake, two First Nations of North America. Various reindeer-herding peoples of Northern Europe and Eurasia, particularly Siberia, employed these as inebriants in shamanic activities. British Columbia is home to several of these mushrooms.
Flying Saucers (Psilocybe Azurescens)
This species is native to the area surrounding Astoria, Oregon, where it emerges from beach grasses and driftwood in sand dunes near the mouth of the Columbia River. It has been introduced into British Columbia’s Lower Mainland and is easily grown in outdoor chip beds. It is regarded as being quite potent and displays extremely significant blue colouring when injured or aged.
Wavy Caps (Psilocybe Cyanescens)
These frequently sprout up in newly landscaped areas where soil and mulch have been amended with wood chips; they are particularly fond of alder chips. In abandoned clearings that have become populated with alder trees, broom, and Rubus plants like blackberries and other brambles, rather long-lasting and stable communities may develop.
Aside from these natively growing species of psilocybin mushrooms in British Columbia, there is an array of other more popular types of shrooms that you can easily purchase from online dispensaries. For example, there is Golden Teacher, Penis Envy, Leucistic Burma, Koh Samui, King Kong, Albino Treasure, Blue Meanies, Cambodian, Costa Rican, B+, and so much more. Each species has its own unique appearance, flavour, and psychedelic effects. Not only can you buy these shrooms dried and ready to eat or make into a magic mushroom tea, but there are other delicious options available like shroom edibles. We have shroom chocolate bars, gummies in all shapes and flavours you can imagine, cocoa powder mixes, and flavoured drink mixes. They all come in different doses, so whether you’re looking to microdose or get the full psychedelic effect, we have what you’re looking for.
We at Get Magic Mushrooms invite you to explore and enjoy all the different varieties of magic mushrooms we have available in British Columbia, and with the convenience and ease of being able to order whatever you want at great prices from the comfort of your own home, have it arrive straight to your door! Have a safe and happy trip 🙂